Is there hypoallergenic nail glue?

Allergic to nail glue what can I use?

Truth or Dare?  At LÓA Nails we prefer the truth and transparency when it comes to your health and manicures. We believe manicures should make you look good and feel good without compromise. This article will help you learn more about allergens that are the major culprits of contact dermatitis for you to have safer journey exploring manicure products that suit your needs.

Products used for creating artificial nails such as acrylic, dip powder, and some gel and shellac nails use ingredients called acrylates that are known to cause allergies in some people.

A researched published by British Medical Journal has identified that only in UK and Ireland at least 2.5% of people developed an allergic reaction to at least one type of acrylate used in various manicure products. Of those with allergy, 93% were women.

How do I know what acrylate I am allergic to?

If you are worried you might be allergic, always consult with your doctor. Allergies, including acylate allergy can be easily diagnosed by patch allergy tests. If you live in North America, Methyl methacrylate and ethyl acrylate are part of the standard series of patch test allergens.

Being allergic to one type of acrylate doesn’t mean you are allergic to other too, therefore it is important to understand what acrylates cause your allergic reaction.

Proof: Our customer Jordan has contact dermatitis with acrylate allergy. She can’t wear acrylics or gel. After super zooming into ingredients and her consulting with her doctor - she gave our products a go, and they worked without allergic reaction. But that doesn't mean that our products will work automatically for you too.

Here is the list of different types of acrylates and not all of them are found in every manicure products:

Methyl methacrylate
Ethyl acrylate 2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate
(HEMA) Triethyleneglycol dimethacrylate
Ethyleneglycol dimethacrylate
Bisphenol A glycerolate dimethacrylate (BIS-GMA)
Ethylene dimethacrylate
Triethylene glycol diacrylate
Ethyl cyanoacrylate

WARNING: If you know you are prone to contact dermatitis, do not try patch testing at home, always consult with your doctor and seek help of experts.

Are acrylates only allergens in manicure products?

Allergies, including contact dermatitis can be developed by many different ingredients used in beauty products. It doesn’t mean these ingredients are bad, it mean they don’t work for you.

As for myself, I am allergic to apples, but that doesn’t make apples toxic. This is the list of most common allergens according to DermNet:

Component Potential allergen Benefit
Film former Nitrocellulose Used in topcoats to enhance gloss and minimize abrasion
Resins Tosylamide formaldehyde resin, alkyd resins, acrylates, vinyl, polyesters High amounts used in base coats to improve adhesion to the nail surface
Plasticisers Camphor, dibutyl phthalate, dioctyl phthalate, tricresyl phosphate Used in topcoats to enhance gloss and create a flexible film after drying
Solvents Alcohol, toluene, ethyl acetate, butyl acetate The diluent used to dissolve nail enamel components
Colourants e.g. D&C Red No. 7 Provide desired colour
Pearlisers Guanine, bismuth oxychloride Used to create colour tones and hues e.g. sparkling effect


Signs of Contact Dematitis

Contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction to acrylate monomers = meaning the ingredient in its liquid or powder state before solidification. Contact dermatitis in most cases appears around the area of direct contact and can cause various reactions from itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering.

When it comes to manicure products, hands and the fingers itself are the most affected. In some more severe cases, you might experience eczema and reactions elsewhere as a result of monomer residues in air or transported by touch (powder gel) or buffing the acrylates, for example, acrylic nails can also cause dermatitis on facial area such as the eyelids, cheeks or neck.

WARNING: Solidified acrylates can also contain traces the monomer. The particles may become airborne by buffing and cause symptoms such as dermatitis on exposed sites, facial swelling, hay fever and asthma.

Is LÓA nails glue hypoallergenic?

We believe it is important to be transparent.

As a founder I decided to write this blog post as I found a lot of nail glue products advertising being hypoallergenic (on the label) containing some sort of acrylates.

Reading the reviews – whilst it worked with some, it did result in allergic reaction in others. As explained in above part, being exposed to certain acrylates it doesn’t mean you develop allergic reaction to others.

As a first red flag, I struggled to find ingredients list of these hypoallergenic glues, marketed on major retailers like Amazon, Target before purchasing the products. After reviewing the ingredients list, spoiler alert, all of the glues contained some type of acrylates.

At LÓA we condemn false advertising. For us hypoallergenic means certified by certification bodies like Skin Health Alliance which we know for fact none of these “hypoallergenic nail glues” available on the market would not pass.

Our liquid nail glue contains certain types of acrylates. We rigorously test our products; the nail glue has passed all skin sensitivity tests required to sell our products in the European Union. PS; Us Bans 11 cosmetics ingredients, EU bans more than 1’700. You can learn more about non-toxic nail care here.

Full disclosure these are the ingredients in our glue:

Ethyl Cyanoacrylate: A medical-grade adhesive – our superglue that makes your manicure last.​

Polymethyl Methacrylate: Acrylic Glass – often used in medical devices and dentist application is known for quick bonding at room temperature.​

BHA: Used widely in the cosmetic industry due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Our nail glue is FREE FROM these major allergens:
Methyl methacrylate, Ethyl acrylate 2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate, (HEMA) Triethyleneglycol dimethacrylate, Ethyleneglycol dimethacrylate, Bisphenol A glycerolate dimethacrylate (BIS-GMA),Ethylene dimethacrylate and Triethylene glycol diacrylate

If you are worried about the nail glue, adhesive tabs might be the solution you have been looking for. With proper prep and a little care they can last up to a week.

Full disclosure these are the ingredients in our adhesive tabs:

Acrylic Solvent: Adhesive – our glue that makes your manicure last PET tab: The material of sticky tab – same as water bottles

PE liner: The foil that protects the sticky tab – same as plastic wrappers that protect food

Worry not, our press-on nails come with both with the liquid nail glue and adhesive tabs in the pack for you to choose your preference.

In my own experience (not a doctor advice) I noticed that many of our clients who developed a contact dermatitis reaction to these ingredients in salon environment did not develop an allergic reaction to our glue. This makes me conclude that in many cases is not only the ingredients that matter, but also the application technique and exposure to the ingredient in monomer liquid form.

On a closing note, as a founder, I believe is important for brands and manufacturers to be transparent about ingredients for You to make a well informed decision whether our products work and fit your needs.

I hope this blog post helped you on your journey and I hope after reading this you will be able to give our products a try without frills!

Check out our sustainability page to learn more about our clean beauty commitments, and explore our shop full of cute nail designs.

Hugs, Ella


Disclaimer: We are not medical doctors. The information presented is not medical advice. It is purely to share our experiences and opinions based on the research. As always, check with a doctor for any medical conditions. We disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.

CAUTION: CYANOACRYLATE. DANGER. BONDS SKIN AND EYES IN SECONDS. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. Not suitable for children under 12 years old. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, and fabric. Causes skin and eyes irritation. Glue spilled on clothing may cause burns. May cause respiratory irritation. IN USE: Do not use if nail or surrounding skin is damaged or inflamed. Keep away from fabrics. Contact with clothes will cause damage and could generate sufficient heat to burn the underlying skin. Use on a suitable flat and stable surface. Avoid breathing fumes. Use only in a well-ventilated area. Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. IF IN EYES: Rinse immediately with warm water and do not force the eye open. Cover the eye with a wet pad and keep covered until debonding is complete. IF ON SKIN: Do not pull apart but wash with plenty of soapy water and gently peel apart. IF ON CLOTHING: In case of spillage on clothing, gently remove the affected clothing.